Remarks welcoming Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz in Montréal
Hello everyone, I am very happy to be here today, at home in Montreal, very happy to welcome my friend Chancellor Scholz here with us. I have known Olaf for several years, when he was at the time the mayor of Hamburg. A strong and progressive voice when I was just starting out as prime minister. And to be able to work with him today as the president of the G7 this year, but also as a partner on many of the world’s big challenges is always a great pleasure. Thank you for being here, Olaf! Olaf has an extremely important progressive voice in the world, and to be able to receive him in Canada here like this is a great honour. Particularly as this is an unprecedented trip where Germany is not only bringing Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, but also the fact that this is a bilateral visit especially for within a summit, not with other countries to visit, but really an opportunity for Canada and Germany to to deepen their friendship, and especially the work that we’ll be doing together over the coming years at home and in the world.
Chancellor Scholz and I share many progressive priorities and we’re here this week to continue the important work we’ve been doing over the past years on jobs, trade and growing the middle class, on energy security and fighting climate change because Canada can and will be a reliable supplier of the clean energy that a net zero world requires. And of course, we have lots to do and we’ll continue to work on protecting peace and democracy in Europe and around the world.
Today in Montreal and tomorrow in Toronto, we will have the opportunity to meet with members of the business community to see what we can do to encourage investment and partnership. We will talk about business opportunities, for example in the automotive and critical minerals sectors, and here in Montreal, which is a leader in artificial intelligence, we will certainly talk about how we can strengthen our collaboration on new technologies.
And while we continue working with the private sector to develop technologies and create good jobs in both of our countries, we have to make sure that everyone benefits. We must continue to invest in people because when we invest in people and in progressive policies, we fight inequality and we grow the economy. When moms don’t have to choose between their career and their family, we grow the economy. A policy like $10 a day child care is economic policy. Here in Quebec studies show that child care alone has raised Quebec’s GDP by 1.7 percent. For every dollar spend on early childhood education, the broader economy receives between $1.50 and $2.80 in return. That’s real results for people and the economy and progressive leaders like Olaf and I understand that the way to grow the economy is to make sure we are supporting everyone’s ability to participate in it.
Chancellor Scholz and I will also discuss our efforts to fight climate change, including putting a price on pollution, while building strong economies. We will continue to talk about what we’re doing to accelerate the global transition to clean energy, towards a carbon neutral world. Canada can and will become a reliable producer of clean energy. Tomorrow, we’ll be going to Newfoundland and Labrador to visit a hydrogen trade show and we’re going to announce an important next step in our energy partnership. Clean energy is an issue that is more important than ever, not only because of the threat of climate change, but also because of Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Of course, this week we’ll also continue talking about our support for Ukraine. Tomorrow we’ll both participate in a virtual summit for Crimea, where we’ll talk about what we’re doing to provide support for Ukraine.
We cannot and will not become inured to the horrors of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Canada will always be there to defend democracy and the right of the Ukrainian people to choose their own future, and we will continue to work towards this with our allies like Germany.
Canada and Germany have long been partners on the world stage because of our shared values. In a world where our institutions are being threatened, where we face complex challenges, populism and other simplistic solutions are simply not the answer. Liberal democratic values, strong institutions. These are the things that guarantee our freedom, individually and collectively. Chancellor Scholz, Olaf, the world needs more progressive leaders and voices like yours. Canada needs a strong Germany, and Germany needs a strong Canada. So, I look very much forward to continuing this partnership and this great friendship